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Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Perennials

If you're like most gardeners, you'll make one or two trips to a garden centre in Spring and call it a year. So unfortunate. Many wonderful and interesting plants don't look the best during the coolness of spring. They need summer heat to look their best.

Summer blooming perennials tend to be sun-lovers and are often drought tolerant once established. Most prefer well drained soils and will probably suffer if left with wet feet (ie overly moist soil). A lot of them are also low maintenance and easy to care for making them ideal for your garden during extended vacations and less time spent at home doing garden tasks.

So with that said, here are some of our favourites flowers for summer:

White Datura

Angels Trumpet

Datura

A summer time favourite with white, trumpet shaped, fragrant flowers. Prefers full sun and needs good drainage. Winter protection or indoor storage is required to ensure survival. Grows to 75cm in height. Hardy to zone 9.

Durban Canna

Durban Canna Lily

These warm season, water loving plants are a favourite for adding lush tropical colour to the garden. Large, banana like leaves offer a multitide of colour topped with tropical looking bright coloured flowers. Flowers appear from July until October. Excellent in containers or near pools or water gardens. Grows to a height of 48 inches and a spread of 24 inches. Prefers full sun. In late fall, before heavy frosts, dig and lift out the bulb and store in a cool, dry frost free location.

 

euphorbia glacier blue

Glacier Blue Euphorbia

Euphorbia characias 'Glacier Blue'

This Mediterranean-looking evergreen perennial features white and blue-green foliage topped by tiny red flowers in on green-yellow bracts. The plant is compact and self-branching. Great for containers, rock gardens and mixed borders. Blooms in spring and summer. Grows 12-24 inches in height with a similar spread. Prefers sun to part shade and well drained soil. Cut old shoots to promote new growth.

 

Echinacea Salsa Red Sombrero

Sombrero Salsa Red Coneflower

Echinacea x hybrida Sombrero Salsa Red

After surviving two plus years of echinacea overload, Salsa Red has forever changed our minds about Echinaceas, This is a fabulous plant with rich, deep red, abundant flowers atop a sturdy, compact plant. It also attracts butterflies! Ideal for a wide range of landscapes including perennial gardens, wildflower areas, cutting and mixed gardens. Will tolerate periods of drought once established. Blooms in mid-summer through early fall. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. Grows 20-24 inches in height and 18-22 inches in spread. Hardy to USDA zone 5.

 

Midknight Blue Agapanthus

Midknight Blue Agapanthus

Agapanthus x 'Monmid'

An exciting introduction with deep violet-blue flowers held in tight clusters on tall stalks. Lush strap-like foliage is bright green. Great for borders and containers. Needs some winter protection in our climate. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. Flowers in mid spring through summer. Grows 3-4ft in height and 1-2ft wide, Hardy to USDA zone 6.

 

daylily_rubyspider.jpg

Ruby Spider Daylily

Hemerocallis x 'Ruby Spider'

This wonderful, award winning perennial delivers enormous 9 inch dark ruby red flowers with intriguing, spatula-shaped petals that open wide and flat, displaying golden-yellow throats. Plant en masse for stunning visual impact. Adaptable to dry conditions and tolerant of pollution, coastal locations and even black walnut trees. Herbaceous. Flowers from early to mid-summer. Prefers full to part sun and moist, but well drained soils. Grows 3-34 inches in height and 24 inches wide. Hardy to USDA zone 4.

 

Echo Mango Red Hot Poker

Echo Mango Poker

Kniphofia 'Echo Mango'

Flower spikes in a soft, warm shade of apricot rise above the green, strap-like foliage for great architectural interest. Best in warm, well drained locations. Great in beds, borders, rock gardens and xeriscape gardens. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. Fertilize in spring and summer for best blooming. Drought tolerant. Repeat bloomer. Grows to 24-36 inches in height and 24 inches wide. Hardy to -10F

 

Crocosmia Lucifer

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

A classic summer garden favourite. Tall green arching, almost sword-like stems produce clusters of intesely red blooms in mid to late summer. Great specimen plant that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds too! Can also be used in containers, borders or even as a cut flower. Prefers full sun and any well drained soil. Drought tolerant once established. Grows 36-48 inches in height and 12-24 inches wide.

 

Arizona Sun Blanket Flower

Arizona Sun Blanketflower

Gaillardia aristata 'Arizona Sun'

This hardy, compact perennial forms a bush of lance-shaped, hairy, gray-green leaves and is topped with a mass of large daisy-like flowers that have a reddish disk surrounded by radiant red petals tipped with blazing gold. Blooms in June through September. Salt tolerant and deer resistant. Makes a great cut flower and is attractive to butterflies. Drought tolerant once established. Prefers to be planted in full sun in moist, but well drained soil. Grows 8-10 inches in height and up to 12 inches across. Hardy to Zone 3.

 

Short n Sassy Sneezeweed

Short and Sassy Sneezeweed

Helenium 'Short and Sassy'

Short and Sassy is a shorter version of the straight species Helenium that produces flowers earlier in the season until well into the fall. Newer flowers tend to hide the spent blooms giving it a fresh appearance all season. Great when mass-planted, in beds, borders and even patio pots. Attractive to both bees and butterflies. Prefers to be planted in full sun and moist, but well drained soil. Grows to a 12-18 inches in height and up to 24 inches across. Hardy to zone 4.

 

Paprika Achillea

Achillea millefolium 'Paprika'

This cottage garden favourite produces large clusters of ruby-red flowers with a yellow center. Blooms rise above the foliage up to 36 inches high. Light green, fern-like foliage is attractive in its own right. Makes a great cut flower, fresh or dried. Easy to grow in full sun and any well drained location. Remove spent flowers for best bloom. Blooms from summer through early fall. Spreads to 18 inches across. Extremely hardy to -40F.

 

Lavender

Lavender

Lavandula

Lavender is a popular favourite for summer flower gardens. Greyish, aromatic evergreen leaves on a compact plant make them excellent in the garden or in containers. Spikes of lavender blue flowers bloom from June through August. Height depends on variety, but 12-24 inches in height is common. Spread usually matches height. Attracts bees and butterflies. Makes a great fresh cut or dried flower. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. Hardy to zone 4, but needs good drainage otherwise it can rot during wet winters. Excellent varieties include 'Munstead', 'Hidcote Blue' and the new variegated 'Platinum Blond'.

 

Coral Reef Bergamot

Coral Reef Bergamot

Monarda 'Coral Reef'

Unique, deep coral-pink flowers are excellent for cutting and attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Deep green leaves have a good milder resistance. Flowers from mid-summer to early fall. Reaches a height of 30-36 inches with a similar spread. Grow in any moderately fertile, well drained soil in full sun to part shade. Excellent for herbaceous borders and perennial gardens.

 

Hydrangea Bobo

Bobo Hydrangea

Hydrangea paniculata 'Bobo'

To round out this group of summer blooming plants we have a new white hydrangea. This dwarf plant in engulfed by white flowers in summer. Very hardy, it blooms every year and is a great addition to smaller landscapes. Bobo is an adaptable shrub but prefers part shade and a good loamy soil. Prune back in late winter or early spring. Grows 30-36 inches tall.

Don't be shy when using these plants. Most, if not all, look fantastic when grouped in three's, five's or even larger clusters. By mass planting, you are creating an incredible display of summer-time colour. To prove a point, I've even seen an entire 100ft long short hedge made entirely of lavender.

If you have any questions about these plants, or would like us to put a few on hold for you, give us a call at Art's Nursery Ltd, 604.882.1201. As always, please call ahead to confirm availability as our selection is always changing.


Thursday, June 12, 2014
Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Bulbs

Martagon lilies are a great addition to the garden as they are easy to grow and low maintenance. Although not very fast to multiply they are very long lived and tolerate a wide variety of growing conditions.

Blooming later that other species they offer interest from June into July and average 30 or more Turk's-cap flowers per raceme. Their preference is to be in a humus rich, alkaline soil, in open shade, but will tolerate full sun and even clay type soils as long as they have adequate drainage.

They make for great naturalizers in the woodland garden but are more than sophisticated enough to make a home in a more formal setting. Height: varies Spread: 30cm+ Zone: 3

Akimina Martagon Lily

Lilium martagon x ‘Akimina’

Elegant selection having dark pink buds that open to flowers of a light creamy yellow speckled with a few maroon spots toward the center. Each scented flower is slightly recurved with contrasting light green nectaries and golden orange pollen; Blooms in June. Height: 1m

Claude Shride Martagon Lily

Lilium martagon x ‘Claude Shride’

An absolute favorite among martagonaholics having ruffled, semi-reflexed petals of pure deep maroon to mahogany with few yellow-orange spots. A strong grower having dark racemes of numerous (30+), lightly fragrant flowers; Blooms in June. Height: 1.25-1.75m

Guinea Gold Martagon Lily

Lilium martagon x ‘Guinea Gold’

Pink buds open to lightly scented buttercup yellow flowers infused with golden orange; each semi-reflexed petal is dotted with brown spots. Reliably strong grower and floriferous; 30 or more flowers per stem. Later flowering; Blooms from June into July. Height: 1.25-1.5m

Orange Marmalade Martagon Lily

Lilium martagon x ‘Orange Marmalade’

Striking lily with tall dark stems clothed in star-shaped, outward facing, slightly recurved flowers. Blooms are unspotted and a smoky burnt orange in colour with matching orange nectaries. Floriferous, lightly scented and pollen free. Late June into July. Height: 1.25-1.5m

Roseum Martagon Lily

Lilium martagon f. roseum

A form of the species displaying Turk's-cap flowers with wild rose pink tones and dark spotting. Can take a little longer than the hybrids to become established. Floriferous and fragrant. June flowering. Height: 1-1.5m

Album Martagon Lily

Lilium martagon var. album

Charming species from Europe with dainty flowers of pure white with the typical reflexed petals. Very floriferous with up to 60 florets per stem on established plants; scented. Can take a little longer than other forms to become settled in. flowers in June. Height: 1-1.5m

Many of these varieties are available at Arts Nursery now (June 2014) and are in bud or bloom. Call ahead 604.882.1201 to confirm availability or drop by and treat yourself to a treasure today!


Thursday, June 12, 2014
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Shade Gardening

Hostas are one of the darlings of the shade garden. Very few plants offer the variation in colour, texture, flower or form provided by hostas. We’ve lost count of how many types there are, but we’re sure the number is in the thousands. With that said, we often discover new varieties that catch everyones eye. Here are 10 relatively new hostas that we believe are worth your attention.

Hosta Blue Ivory

Hosta ‘Blue Ivory’

Wow, an absolutely stunning hosta that is a sport of the popular ‘Halcyon’. It has ice blue leaves with a broad, clean ivory-white border. Blue Ivory forms a medium sized mound and has thick, slug resistant leaves that last well into Fall. Tall lavender coloured flowers appear in mid-summer. Prefers shade to part shade in any well drained soil. Grows 45cm tall and 75cm wide. Hardy to zone 3.

Hosta Warwick Comet

Hosta ‘Warwick Comet’

Attractive hosta with nearly round, corrugated, cup shaped leaves with apple green colour and a yellow center. Matures to dark green with a creamy white center. Tall near white coloured flowers appear in late summer. Warwick Comet is a slow growing variety that is ideal as a container specimen. Prefers shade to part shade in any well drained soil. Grows 40-50cm high and 60-75 cm wide. Hardy to zone 3

Hosta Spartacus

Hosta ‘Spartacus’

Spartacus is a large growing Hosta cultivar with heart-shaped green leaves that have heavily rippled golden margins. The deeply veined leaves have a corrugated look. Pale lavender flowers grace the plant in summer. Foliage has a good substance and is sun tolerant. Prefers shade to part shade in any well drained soil. Grows 50-60cm tall and 1-1.5 metres across. Hardy to zone 3

Hosta Magic Fire

Hosta ‘Magic Fire’

Magic Fire is a sport of Sagae with a slightly wavy, medium to blue-green flame-patterned leaves with a bold golden-yellow margin. Margin turns creamy white by summer. Tall lavender flowers appear in summer. Magic Fire is a moderate grower with a dense compact habit. Prefers shade to part shade in moist, humus-rich soil. Grows to 45-60cm in height and 90cm spread. Hardy to zone 3.

Hosta Fire Island

Hosta ‘Fire Island’

Fire Island is a medium growing hosta with round, pointed leaves that are a brilliant golden yellow in spring becoming chartreuse by summer. Pale lavender flowers appear in summer. Petioles and scapes are a contrasting purple-red. Prefers shade to part shade in well drained soil. Grows 30-40cm in height and 60-75cm spread. Hardy zone 3

Hosta Ben Vernooij.jpg

Hosta ‘Ben Vernooij’

This is a fantastic new tetraploid sport of First Frost having intense blue leaves with a very wide feathered yellow margin. Holds its colour and form well until frost. Ben Vernooij has incredibly thick leaves that offer great slug resistance. Spikes of large lavender flowers in summer. Best when grown in shade to part shade in any well drained soil. Grows 45-60cm high and 75-90cm spread. Hardy to zone 3.

Hosta Stained Glass

Hosta ‘Stained Glass’

Stained Glass Hosta forms a mound of wavy corrugated, heart shaped leaves in colours ranging from chartreuse to golden yellow with an irregular dark green border. 2006 Hosta of the year. Slightly fragrant pale mauve coloured flowers appear in summer. While shade or part shade is best, some direct sun with bring out the best colour. Well drained soil is best. Grows to 50cm in height and 90120cm across. Hardy to zone 3

Hosta Dancing Queen

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’

Dancing Queen Hosta features unique bright yellow leaves that retain their colour all season. Leaves are quilted with a prominent pie crust edge. Forms and elegant arching mound. Foliage becomes a softer yellow by summer. Spikes of pale lavender flowers appear in mid-summer. Prefers shade to part shade in any well drained soil. Grows 45-60cm in height and 75-90cm in spread. Hardy to zone 3

Hosta Orange Marmalade

Hosta ‘Orange Marmalade’

Orange Marmalade has been around for a few years but it is an absolutely stunning variety. It features deep green margins with a creamy yellow center that fades to white in summer. Both foliage and lavender flowers are lovely in bouquets. Flowers bloom in mid to late summer. Grows to 30cm tall and 30-60cm wide. Best in shade to part shade.

Hosta Paul Revere

Hosta ‘Paul Revere’

Paul Revere is a superlative hosta with slightly wavy leaves featuring dark green margins and pure white centers. Considered the most resistant to hosta melt-out. Tall scapes of light lavender flowers appear in summer and are accented with thick leaves that afford good slug resistance. Prefers shade to part shade in well drained soils. Grows 40-50cm tall and 60-75cm wide. Hardy to zone 3.

Dealing with Slugs & Snails On Your Hostas

Unfortunately, hostas closely resemble tasty salad to snails and slugs. Do what you can to physically remove slugs and snails from the area. Apply slug and snail bait where possible and consider other alternatives such as copper bands and diatomaceous earth. Some hostas offer slug resistance as their leaves are thicker and waxier – something that slugs and snails seem to avoid.

If you have any questions about these Hostas or other plants ,please feel free to give us a call at 604.882.1201 or visit Arts Nursery in person. If you are making a special trip for these varieties, please call in advance as our selection is always changing.


Monday, March 10, 2014
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Bulbs

Summer flowering bulbs are easy to grow and provide a big impact in your flower garden. The most commonly available are:

  • Lilies
  • Gladiolus
  • Calla Lily
  • Canna Lily
  • Dahlias
  • Begonias

I use the term ‘bulb’ loosely because most of what you will find packaged at Art's Nursery this spring are technically corms, rhizomes and tuberous roots, along with ‘true’ bulbs.

True Bulbs

A true bulb’s rounded form is made up of modified leaves called scales. The pointed top is where leaves and flowers will grow. These sit on the flat ‘basal plate’ where roots are formed. The wonderful thing about true bulbs is they reproduce by offsets or daughter bulbs and are easy to pull off and propagate.

beverlys dream lily

Commonly known true bulbs are lilies, alliums and amaryllis. One lily that I am loving this year is call Beverly’s Dream. It is an oriental trumpet lily that has been known to get to up to eight feet tall after a few years of maturing in optimal conditions. It has a paintbrush of red inside stark white with a little yellow in the center. Beverly’s Dream will make a bold statement in your garden along with an intoxicating strong fragrance.

Corm

A corm looks very much like a true bulb on the outside but it doesn’t have scales. Instead the inside is made up of a fleshy modified stem. The plant uses up the entire corm in a season but produces copious offsets. Examples of corms are gladiolas and freesias. My favorite gladiola this year is called ‘Velvet Eyes’ and has a deep, dark, almost smoky purple. I’m looking forward these cut flowers.

gladiolus_velveteye.jpg

Rhizomes

Rhizomes are modified stems that grow sideways just under the surface of soil. Each break (or growing point) in the rhizome will put out roots hairs and grow another stalk. This makes dividing easy. Examples are iris, canna lily and calla lily. One calla lily that I’m considering planting this year is called ‘Captain Safari’ and is a two tone beauty with an antique rose-red, fading into an orange center.

calla lily rhizomes

Tuberous Roots (or Tubers)

Tuberous roots look like ordinary roots that have been dug up. They don’t give offsets but get bigger ever year and can be divided as long as there previously was a stem attached. A piece of root itself will not grow into a plant. When lifting in fall, store in peat moss or coco fiber with a little sulphur dust directly on the roots to ensure no mold.

dahlia tubers

The most familiar tuberous roots are peonies and dahlias. I have been growing dahlias since childhood and my garden wouldn’t be the same without one. This year I’m excited to grow the ‘Babylon Red’ giant dinnerplate dahlia. With 10” flowers, this variety will provide vivid color in my garden that is a true fire engine red.

Planting Summer Bulbs

Plant your bulbs when danger of frost is gone. This is usually late March or early April in Metro Vancouver. It is best to wait a little longer for some of the more delicate ones, like Dahlias.

Some, like Calla or Canna lilies should (or need!) to be dug up and stored in a cool, dry indoor area in peat moss or coco fiber for winter. Keep plants in the ground that are hardy to your zone but make sure they are in well drained soil as they are prone to rotting. They will all benefit from a generous amount of bone meal at planting.

When you’re visiting Art's Nursery this spring, keep a look out for a few of these varieties and the many others I didn't mention. I’m all about the bold bright colors this year and my picks definitely reflect that.

Summer Blooming bulbs are typically available from late February through early April. Best selection is in early March. drop by Art's Nursery and check out our selection of gorgeous, easy to plant summer blooming beauties.


Sunday, September 8, 2013
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Feature Products

I have a number of favorite plants around the nursery and if you ask any one of our garden crazy staff each has a number of very different favorite plants. We can however agree on the coolness factor of the following plants:

Toad Lily

Toad Lily

Tricyrtis hirta

This autumn blooming wonder for the shade garden is probably the closest you can come to planting a hardy orchid in your garden. The flowers are quite frankly breathtaking and well worth displaying in your house. Most are hardy to zone 7, some varieties even hardier and require shockingly little care though they do love a good moist humic soil. They make a lovely little vignette when planted with golden leaved hostas, Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’ and some Maiden Hair Ferns.

Gas Plant

Dictamnus albus

This plant is so amazing cool, even your kids will give you grudging admiration for having it. The flowers on this perennial which occur around midsummer, produce a gas which, on a still day can be ignited with a lighter at the bottom of the flower spike. The gas will quickly burn up the flower spike without burning the flower. Be patient with this plant as it takes a little time to get established and sulks (actually mine outright died) when you try to move it when you want to make a pathway…sigh. A full sun position in well drained average soil is best for this perennial and treat it like a peony…put it somewhere where you don’t have to move it!

Image Courtesy of: Wikipedia

gunnera

Dinosaur Plant / Gunnera

Gunnera

Now this is a refreshingly huge plant that has been around since the dinosaurs. There are some days, after I’ve been asked for the thousandth time to point out plants dwarfish, slenderish and very slow plants for the small garden that I just want to bust loose and suggest one of these puppies. There is nothing slender, small or slow growing about these plants with leaves as big as a person. A partially shady or full sun boggy ditch or pondside is a good place for this behemoth and if you don’t have either you can give it some space…well a lot of space in your garden and really really keep it well watered to get the size, otherwise you get something only slightly larger than a Rhubarb when it has the potential to grow to about 8 feet tall by 12 feet wide over the course of the summer, hence the water requirement. In winter a bit of protection in the form of its giant leaves help ensure its longevity.

Giant Miscanthus Grass

Giant Maiden Grass

Miscanthus giganteum

For the same reason I love the Gunnera, the Miscanthus giganteum always makes me smile. A definite back of the border plant in sun in a well drained, humic soil with plenty of available moisture when needed will make this grass shoot for the sky. I can get to about 12 feet plus tall in one season. Pair it with some Russian Giant sunflowers and you will feel like you are an extra in Honey I’ve Shrunk the Gardener. Give it a corner to spread a bit as it is a very strong grower. Some areas are even harvesting it as an alternative fuel. Miscanthus giganteum is hardy to zone 5-6.

black stem bamboo

Black Stem Bamboo

Phyllostachys nigra

Ok, maybe this isn’t the most unusual of my choices, I thought about putting the Cryptomeria jindai sugi in here instead but well, black stem bamboo is actually quite cool. It needs well drained humic soil in a sunny to part sun spot. It is hardy to zone 7 and can grow up to 20 plus feet tall. The culms start off olive green and as they age they start to become speckled with black until they are a solid ebony. It is a more sedate grower than the rest of its bamboo family…I actually wished it was a bit faster believe it or not. It is more of a clump former, though you should still watch for runners. If you do get a runner you can dig it up and give it to a friend…or me.

These plants are typically available at Art's Nursery. As always, please call to confirm availability if you are making a special trip as stock and selection changes frequently. If you have any questions about these plants, please feel free to call us at 604.882.1201 or visit us in person.


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.

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